Canadian Forest Service Publications

Foliage architecture explains oviposition preference of spruce budworm (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) for white spruce over balsam fir. 2006. Grant, G.G. The Canadian Entomologist 138: 198-204.

Year: 2006

Available from: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 26444

Language: English

CFS Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Abstract

I conducted dual-choice oviposition bioassays to test the hypothesis that spruce budworm, Choristoneura fumiferana (Clemens), prefer the foliage architecture (spatial arrangement of foliage needles) of white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss; Pinaceae) to that of balsam fir (Abies balsamea (L.) P. Mill.; Pinaceae). Needles of white spruce radiate around the twig axis, giving the foliage a round architecture. Needles of balsam fir typically radiate bilaterally from the twig axis, giving the foliage a flat architecture, although on some trees foliage needles radiate around the twig axis, giving the foliage a round architecture. In bioassays, females showed a 2.4:1 preference for white spruce over "flat" balsam fir foliage, but this preference was reduced significantly to a 1.2:1 ratio when balsam fir had a round architecture. Given a choice between "round" and "flat" balsam fir foliage, females preferred the "round" foliage by a 2.2:1 margin. A similar preference for the round architecture was also observed when artificial (plastic) foliage with the two types of needle arrangements were compared. I conclude that the spatial arrangement of foliage needles is a major factor responsible for the oviposition preference of spruce budworm for white spruce over balsam fir.

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